A Saskatchewan judge will hear an application for an injunction seeking to stop the province’s policy affecting children using different pronouns at school.
The policy requires that children under 16 receive parental consent if they want to use a different name or pronoun at school.
Lawyers from UR Pride, an organization that represents LGBTQ people in Regina, will argue in favor of the court order.
Lawyers at Egale Canada and McCarthy Tetrault LLP say the policy violates two sections of the Charter, including equality rights and the right to security of the person.
Premier Scott Moe has said his government remains committed to the policy and said the province will do everything in its power to protect parents’ rights.
Moe said he would consider using the notwithstanding clause, a provision that allows governments to override certain Charter rights for up to five years, to keep the policy in place.
Lawyers for UR Pride have said the injunction request is intended to halt the policy temporarily while it moves through the courts and until a judge makes a final decision.
On Monday, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the John Howard Society and the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund applied for intervener status in the case, arguing they have experience that could be useful to the court.
Mitch McAdam, a lawyer for the province, argued that the organizations would not contribute much to the debate.
Judge Michael Megaw reserved his decision to grant intervener status and said he will make a decision as soon as he can.
The judge gave both parties until October 6 to present their evidence. If granted, cross-examinations will take place at the end of that month. Arguments are expected to be heard beginning Nov. 20.
McAdam said the attorney general must rely on “parental rights” in his defense of the policy.
“It’s true that the attorney general will focus on the role of schools, what the role of schools is in these very difficult situations and in these cases of conflict – or potential conflict – between children and their parents,” he said.
In her report released last week, Saskatchewan children’s advocate Lisa Broda said the province’s pronoun policy violates the rights to gender identity and expression.